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Social Research

Social Research
An Introduction

Second Edition
Additional resources:

January 2011 | 680 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This is the perfect book for any student taking a research methods course for the first time.

The new edition of David and Sutton's text provides those new to social research with a comprehensive introduction to the theory, logic and practical methods of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. Covering all aspects of research design, data collection, data analysis and writing up, Social Research: An Introduction is the essential companion for all undergraduate and postgraduate students embarking on a methods course or social research project.

The second edition features:

  • Brand new chapters on visual methods, case study methods, internet research, mixed methods and grounded theory
  • Updated chapters on interviews, questionnaire design, surveys, and focus groups
  • Improved coverage of qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis, including practical instruction on the latest versions of software packages NiVivo 8 and SPSS 18
  • An attractive new layout which aids navigability and enhances the book's student learning features
  • Many more practical examples helping bring theory to life!

A password-protected Instructor Teaching Site and an open-access Student Study Site are available for this book.

Designed for social science students with no previous experience, this book provides a balanced foundation in the principles and practices of social research.

Getting Started: Theory, Research Question and Research Design
Being Ethical
Literature Searching and Reviewing
Theory and Research: Quality and Quantity
Introduction to the Process of Qualitative Research
Qualitative Interviewing
Focus Groups
Case Study Research
Collecting Textual and Visual Data: Public and Private
Grounded Theory as an Abductive Approach to Data Collection
Introduction to Quantitative Research Design
Hypotheses, Operationalization and Variables
Survey Design
Collecting and Coding Quantitative Data
Methodological Innovations: Mixing Methods and E-Research
Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis
Coding Qualitative Data: Qualitative Content Analysis
Semiotic and Narrative Forms of Discourse Analysis and Doing Conversation Analysis
Using Computer Software: Working with Nvivo8
Visual Analysis
Introduction to Quantitative Data Entry
Introduction to Quantitative Data Analysis: Describing Single Variables
Describing and Exploring Relationships between Two Variables
Inferential Statistics and Hypothesis-Testing
Data-Management Techniques
Presenting Research Findings


This research methods book is a good source for the undergraduate and master's level student. It can also be considered a good help for the PhD student at the early stages of his research.

Dr Fawaz Baddar
Marketing , IESEG School of Management
January 4, 2013

A clear and easy to follow text that takes you through the research process in a logical and stepped process. the companion website is very helpful

Mrs Una Goodall
Health , Liverpool John Moores University
December 3, 2012

This book supports the module and offers additional reading.

Mrs Susan Skipper
School of Law, Justice & Community Studies, University Centre at Blackburn College
November 14, 2012

This book focussed on research within a social context. Although several examples were offered and analysed of different methodologies in my opinion, this book was difficult to read and consequently, I would not recommend it as a core text book.

Ms Maura Fitzsimons
Nursing Department, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
September 25, 2012

This book proivdes undergraduate students with a very useful introduction to the world and indeed complexities of research. It takes the reader through the process of getting started, considerations as to data collection strategies and finally data analysis. The book is clearly written and its layout is most helpful, particulalry with the examples that it provides, that add context and reality to student studies.

Mr Nick Howe
School of Law and Criminology, Derby University
September 7, 2012

An outstanding textbook that offers both comprehensive and accessible coverage of key theories and practices within social science methods.

Dr Dave O'Brien
Dept of Cultural Policy & Management, City University
August 11, 2012

A well written book which will assist students to both design their own research project and make sense of and justify the many decisions that go into the research design process. An invaluable resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students planning their own research.

Miss Frances Jackson
Public Services, Peterborough Regional College
April 4, 2012

A clear introduction and good starting point

Mrs Catherine Delves-Yates
School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of East Anglia
November 4, 2011

I would recommend this book to those students doing social research. This is a very comprehensive introduction to research methods with a good mix of text and diagrams. Supported with a companion website this is a very accessible book.

Mrs Sunray Heap
General Education , Cardiff and Vale College
October 26, 2011

Perhaps a little too detailed for the needs of most of our students. However, some very relevant information for them to access in certain sections.

Mr Russell Harrison-Paul
School of Nursing, Nottingham University
October 21, 2011

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